A few weeks ago, I decided to start writing a post that I hoped would be somewhat therapeutic to me, and maybe relatable to others. I sat on it for a few days. I contemplated deleting it. I thought about the friends, family members, co-workers, former students, and strangers who would stumble upon it. I wondered what they would think of my candidness and admissions.
I chose to post it anyway. This week, on Liberating Working Moms, I wrote a post about fear and anxiety and how it has deeply affected my life. Many women came forward, admitting they, too, struggle with anxiety and fear, and some even offered suggestions for coping.
I suppose now, I’m glad I didn’t digitally trash the post. It may have been worth the write after all.
My grandmother dealt with anxiety. Actually, she didn’t deal with it. She lived with it and succumbed to it, and a lot of times, it affected the loved ones around her. The memories I hold of my grandmother are fond and positive. She and my grandfather taught me innumerable priceless lessons about life and love. However, I know that deep down, my grandmother lived an anxious life. I truly believe that my grandfather’s steadfastness and the presence of routine kept her from falling apart.
And yeah. That’s pretty much me.
When my mindset began changing, somewhere around my early 20s, I chalked it up to maturity, adulthood. Obviously, my brain was just going from hell-yeah-that-looks-like-fun mode to omg-I-can’t-skydive-my-brains-will-splatter-all-over-the-ground mode. And it seemed normal. Until it wasn’t.
I noticed it when I was in my senior year of high school. I experienced what I realize now were panic attacks concerning graduating high school, selecting a college, moving away from home. I felt chest pains. I couldn’t breathe deeply. Making decisions on my own? What if I made the wrong decision? This question swirled constantly in my brain. I couldn’t fathom the consequences if I chose the wrong path to take in life. How would I ever recover? I obsessed. I worried.
Instead of embracing the fun-loving, internationally traveling, bungee-jumping teenager that I had been and slowly transitioning to responsible adult, I made the leap so quickly that I decided I had to be in control of everything.
Continue reading about how becoming a mother, and then a working mother, took my fear and anxiety to a new level.